Editor, the Gauntlet,
Re: "Support Dinos," Mar. 3, 2005,
While I appreciate the value of Dinos Athletics, I respectfully disagree with Mr. Wayne Thomas that the referendum question was a "positive step for the whole campus."
Allow me to clarify. I believe it's a good thing that our Dinos are getting the support they need. However, the plebiscite question is far from a demonstration that students support a fee increase. The question was far from scientific and heavily biased. During the voting days, students in any way involved with Dinos Athletics were "strongly encouraged" by administrative non-student figures to vote at the Dinos' reception/administrative office (not a very private environment), which, conveniently enough, had lists containing "suggestions" for what to vote for. The University of Calgary wrongfully interfered with the elections when they adopted a position and "encouraged" students to vote in support of the increase on its official website. This is something that is strictly against Students' Union election by-laws. These weren't the only ways the integrity of the plebiscite question was damaged, just some of the bigger contributors. And this is all without mentioning that the students affected most by this (the part-time students) could never expect to get an equal say. Hey, next year, let's ask the entire student body if fine arts students should have to pay $100 more for Dinos.
Although I support more money for our Dinos, I wouldn't dare say that the students support this. I wouldn't say something like that when only 52 per cent of the students voted to support the fee increase in a question that ran dangerously close to being very un-democratic. I might be the kinda guy to say the glass is half empty, but any institution that uses "student support" as justification to increase its fees in a situation like this doesn't look very "positive" to me.